Fantasy Baseball Rundown: Welcome to the show Ronald Acuna

Atlanta Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. warms up for the team's baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

This week saw the first no-hitter of the MLB season courtesy of Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea, and Mike Trout became the first to ten home runs on the season. However, neither of those two make the list this week, as it was chock full of strong performances. Take a look at the Stud and Dud of the Week, Injury Fallout, Free Agent Find and a special outlook on baseball’s next five-tool superstar.

Stud of the Week: Manny Machado, Shortstop, Baltimore Orioles

No one has been hotter over a one-week span than Manny Machado has been this week. Hitting .458 with five home runs, seven runs scored and eight RBIs since last Wednesday, Machado has been on an absolute tear. This is a big year for Machado, as he is one of the most anticipated free agents hitting the market once the season is over. He is looking to cash in next season with a huge contract, and production like this couldn’t hurt. Currently hitting .360 on the season, Machado is the number one third baseman in fantasy baseball this year, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Dud of the Week: Bryce Harper, Outfield, Washington Nationals

After a monstrous start to the season, Harper has significantly cooled off as of late. He has only two hits over 18 at-bats this past week with three runs scored and a single RBI. The Nationals have been slumping right alongside Harper, currently on a four game losing skid and only 4-6 in their last ten games. Due to his hot start however, he still has good numbers on the season, hitting .257, but with a .454 on-base percentage and .595 slugging percentage. He has also hit eight home runs, scored 20 runs and knocked in 20 RBIs. Most likely, this is just a slump, nothing more. Harper will snap out of it and be back to his normal self in no time.

Injury Fallout: Adrian Beltre, Third Base, Texas Rangers

At 39 years old, Adrian Beltre is still playing all-star level baseball, slashing .310/.366/.437 on the season. Unfortunately, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained hamstring. This is a big blow to fantasy owners, who will now need to find a third baseman to fill the gap. Yolmer Sanchez, who I recommended last week to replace Josh Harrison, had a great week and brought his average up to .290 on the season. With an ownership percentage at just 10.2 percent and now playing everyday for the White Sox, he is the perfect fit to fill in for Beltre until he returns for injury.

Free Agent Find: Tyler Anderson, Starting Pitcher, Colorado Rockies

Anderson is 1-0 this year with a 4.32 ERA and 27 strikeouts over five starts this season, and the numbers look worse than they actually are. If not for his first start of the season where he gave up seven runs in only 2.1 innings to the Diamondbacks, his ERA would be barely over two. This week he has two starts, first against the pitiful Miami Marlins Friday and then against the Chicago Cubs, who have been nothing more than average, on Wednesday. He should have at least one good start, with the possibility of two. Take a chance on Anderson and you just might get two quality starts this week.

Welcome to the show: Ronald Acuña, Outfield, Atlanta Braves

No. 1 MLB prospect Ronald Acuña has finally been brought up from Triple-A Gwinnett and expectations are sky high. Even though he has been struggling in Triple-A this season, the Braves have evidently decided that they can no longer keep him in the minors. It looks like Acuna is going to be starting everyday for the Braves as well, so fantasy owners could certainly slide him into their starting lineup. Unfortunately for most fantasy baseball managers, Acuna is already owned in 80.5 percent of leagues, so if you are looking to add him don’t get your hopes up. However, if you are in one out of the five leagues that he is still available in, grab him quick because he is expected to be baseball’s next big star.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.